Bill Belichick may not be the most emotional person when it comes to post-game media availabilities, but he still usually employs a wide spectrum of moods. After the New England Patriots’ 27-20 loss against the Houston Texans on Sunday, however, he unveiled one that is rarely seen: there were no annoyed one-word answers or awkward pauses, just a somber tone throughout the 10-minute availability after his team’s sixth defeat of the season.
Rex Burkhead’s supposedly season-ending knee injury might have had something to do with this, or the fact that the Patriots dropped another close game that certainly felt winnable. At the end of the day it does not matter, Belichick’s mood was a perfect reflection of his team’s day as a whole. The words he said also added to this.
“It was a disappointing outcome for us today,” the future Hall of Famer noted. “We had some opportunities throughout the course of the game, we just couldn’t do enough with them in all areas. Offensively, we moved the ball but just couldn’t top off with enough points. ... Defensively, obviously, all the yardage they got came in the passing game. We didn’t do a good enough job there, especially in the first half.
“We had some opportunities, they converted on third down, in the red area. We just weren’t able to do it. Watson had a good day like we’ve seen him have before. They have a lot of good skill players, tight ends and receivers. We just didn’t do enough, and didn’t do enough at the critical times that we needed to.”
The Patriots started the game against the now-3-7 Texans in promising fashion. After forcing a punt on the contest’s opening drive, the team’s offense marched 84 yards in 10 plays to take a 7-0 lead on a Damien Harris touchdown run. From that point on, however, it all went downhill: Houston’s offense had no issues moving the ball against New England’s defense, while the offense simply failed to make enough plays.
Belichick’s team, as was the case in most of its losses this year, was in it until the very end. Ultimately, though, it once again came up a few plays short despite some promising moments — be it Cam Newton’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Damiere Byrd, or the fact that the offense did not turn the football over for a third game in a row.
“It’s disappointing, but we’ll just have to turn the page here and move on,” said Belichick during his opening statement after the game. “I still have a lot of confidence and belief in the team that if we just do things a little bit better, the results will be different and better. We just couldn’t do it today.”
The results getting better quickly will be massively important for the Patriots: at 4-6 their season is hanging by a thread, and the upcoming three-game stretch against the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams will be pivotal heading into the final three weeks of the season. If New England plays like it did versus the Texans, its chances of making the playoffs could very well be down to zero by the time Christmas comes around.